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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Mary Frances Doty Strain

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Mary Frances Doty Strain, 86, formerly of Mulberry and Greencastle, died Thursday, June 3, 2010 in Heltonville.

Mary Frances, as she was known to her friends, dedicated her life to serving the people of Greencastle through her tireless work in political, cultural and civic organizations. A few of these include Greencastle City Council, League of Women Voters, Putnam County Play House, election board, Democratic Women's Club, Greencastle Park Board, RSVP, and the local and state NAACP, where she single-handedly rewrote the NAACP State Constitution. She was a fierce defender of civil rights, and was always ready to stand up for the "little guy."

During the years she worked for the Community Action Program, she helped bring Head Start to Greencastle and worked for affordable housing. In 1979, she received the Putnam County Extension Club's "Jane Award" for volunteer activities that help the community.

Through letters to the editor and contributions to "Speak Out," Mary Frances promoted dialogue on the need to protect our trees, waterways, ground table, natural resources, and historic landmarks. She spoke "truth to power" and championed the highest standard of ethics in all community affairs.

In her later life, she was best known for her recycling work, collecting over 16 tons of aluminum cans for RSVP and salvaging reusable items for people who needed them.

In addition to her civic activities, Mary Frances played the flute, sang in church, acted in plays and musicals, and always shared bouquets of her garden flowers. She was a founding member of Peace Lutheran Church, where she donated bouquets of cut flowers for the alter every week for decades.

She was born Feb. 20, 1924 to the farming family of Roy Christian and Laura Ethel Doty in Clinton County. She graduated from Mulberry High School in 1941, was active in 4-H, and received a bachelor's degree from Purdue University in 1944 in special sciences. She carried an Indiana Life License in teaching. She held positions in Centerville, Rossville, and Putnam County teaching English, civics and elementary education.

She is preceded in death by her parents and sisters, Irene Doty and Elizabeth Cofoid.

She is survived by four children, Susan Glaser and husband Alan of Denver Colo., Francel Strain of Brownsburg, Justice St. Rain and wife Karen of Heltonville and Melodie Taylor and husband Terry of Costa Rica. She has seven grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and four great-great-grandchildren.

She was laid to rest on Saturday in Fairhaven Cemetery beside her sister and parents near Mulberry Indiana.

A memorial service is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. June 10 at Peace Lutheran Church in Greencastle.

In lieu of flowers, gifts can be made to the Arbor Day Foundation.